As he raised his arms and pushed a little, the sides cracked halfway up and lifted lightly over his head.  There, in front of him, was an expanse of soft grass.  He bent his legs over the broken shell and slowly lowered his feet to the ground, his toes coming into contract with the spongy, cool ground. The air was cool and moist and a very slightly scented breeze blew against his face, currents of air tickling the surface of his eyes and the hairs around his ears.  It all looked in some way familiar and the fact that he was hatching out of a large shell did not alarm him in the least.  Slowly, he shifted his weight onto his feet and straightened upwards.  Then, after a pause to take in his surroundings, he took his first few steps into this new world.



[Dialing tone…………………….]

[No answer]

“You’ve reached the Department of Problems.  Thank you for your call.  Currently we are experiencing unusually high call volumes and we apologize for any inconvenience caused

“We would like to advise you that you can also get information on our full range of services at our website www.departmentofproblems.com

“Please note that due to high volumes, current turnaround times for problems can be as long as 3 business days

“Please listen to the following options as our menu options have changed

“To register a new problem, please press 1

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working brain


If I say, I am struggling here; that my life seems to be a series of short-term, failed attempts to position myself against daily and final annihilation; that I’m endlessly confounded by waking and rediscovering that my struggle is not over, my suffering is still active, my lack is still pressing…does all that make me guilty or does that make me innocently alive?


Dextera Domini

Once the subtle belief is held that it is possible to fall out of favour with life itself, with this moment, you will forever be trying to please life and all those in it. Once you recall that you can never fall from life’s grace, you will instantly cease trying to close a million imaginary gaps in your relationships.  This natural security is your birthright.


His three year old boy looked up to him as they walked over the lovely meadow land.  They were so happy together, equal-aged just then.  The buttercups and purple clover looked identical in their eyes. “I sometimes come running here when you’re asleep, darling” he said. His child quickly replied, “Daddy, when you were a baby, I used to run here too.”  And his hairs bristled at their sudden swap of places and how Time had suddenly joined them on their walk and taken them both by the hand.


Mirror Peel

The little boy knelt uncomfortably on the wooden bench, clenching his little hands together, trying to understand the words.

“And what I promise to you, my children, is finally for you to be free from this earthly life and its savage experiences.  You will walk into the Kingdom unburdened, untroubled, lighter than air. Finally, your soul will fly free and, at long last, you will know what it is to be one with your Father, forevermore out of the reach of the world’s claws, immortally joyful.”

These words seeped into some part of him, and began to to form thin, tightening threads of desire, pulling at his thoughts into adulthood.  Countless days layered on countless days until a point in middle age, he started to discern that this promise had been empty and wholly unnecessary all along. For as long as he was, so would be his world, and rightly so. In truth, he had never wished for it to be otherwise, but who had he been to question a priest?


Note on “Shepherd” and others

Something I’ve been thinking of recently is how to explore my very early, heartfelt belief and faith in Christianity.  After the age of about 10, I left it behind and went on the to consider numerous other religions and non-religions, looking for answers and life models.  Nevertheless, for some reason or other, I’ve felt this wish to re-enter the Christian metaphor for a while, I think because it was the Christian metaphor that was the first to interface with my original wonder.  For this reason, there was a kind of purity about my childhood faith as each of the symbols were imbued with an innocent fullness of meaning and trust.  

All this writing is meant to be, is an expression of original and final freedom.  All it is meant to accomplish is to trigger or reignite that same spark in the reader.  We speak with complete vision, complete oversight, from the start.  So, there is nothing I will not explore.  I have nothing to lose by this endeavour.  I will make the greatest of errors and misjudgments in the interests of this free exploration.  Truth is everywhere we turn.